I am sure for every baking and dessert recipe there is a chicken recipe on this blog. Red meat does not really feature amongst the food I love to eat (hello carbs and sugar) and I cook and eat very little fish. I am not at all an “environmentalist” but we seem to hear more bad than good stories when it comes the oceans and have made a conscious effort to eat minimal fish. Personally, when it comes to non plant proteins I prefer chicken and few meals can come close to a delicious roast chicken. Easy to prepare and does not blow the grocery budget to smithereens, this Roast Chicken with Forty Cloves of Garlic is a welcome addition to all the other chicken recipes on the blog.

(Do scroll down to the bottom of this post for a few of my favourite chicken recipes, the Peri Peri Chicken is fantastic and the Whole Roast Masala Chicken is one of the tastiest chicken roasts there is. )

Roast Chicken with 40 Cloves of Garlic

Roast Chicken with 40 Cloves of Garlic

From what I’ve read, Roast Chicken with 40 Cloves of Garlic is a classic French dish that Julia Child made popular and trendy in the 60’s and 70’s as she and James Beard revolutionised American cooking. It is a dish I have always wanted to try and as I was stuck with quite a bit of garlic after a shoot recently it was the prefect time to try it out. The chicken is fragrantly garlicky without the garlic overpowering.

Roast Chicken with 40 Cloves of Garlic

Roast Chicken with 40 Cloves of Garlic

I used a Martha Stewart recipe as inspiration but made it even simpler. I did not peel the garlic as I thought there would be more than enough garlic flavour coming through and I was right. I swapped the butter for extra virgin olive oil and added 800g baby potatoes to roast at the same time. That way I had less to do and cook and the potatoes were also flavoured with all the garlic in the pan. I did stuff a whole chicken inside the chicken but this is entirely optional. The chicken is deliciously tender and packed with flavour. Of course the garlic lovers can take all those cloves and squeeze the roasted garlic out onto their chicken, potatoes or some crusty bread. Enjoy!

Roast Chicken with Forty Cloves of Garlic


  • 40 garlic cloves,unpeeled
  • 1 whole chicken, about 1.3kg rinsed and patted dry
  • 800g baby potatoes, halved
  • Baleia Extra Virgin Olive Oil for drizzling
  • coarse salt and ground pepper
  • 10 sprigs of fresh thyme


  1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees (fan forced) C or 200 degrees C
  2. Place chicken in a large roasting pan
  3. Add the garlic cloves and potatoes and place around the chicken
  4. Drizzle all the ingredients with olive oil and season well with salt and pepper
  5. Add the sprigs of thyme and roast, basting occasionally with pan juices until a meat thermometer inserted in thickest part of a thigh registers 75 degrees C or the juices run clear (about 60 minutes or so)
  6. Transfer the chicken to a platter, cover loosely with foil, let it rest for 10 minutes while letting the garlic and potatoes roasting for an extra few minutes to crisp some more if required)
  7. Serve
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** Disclaimer: Olive oil provided by Baleia Extra Virgin Olive Oil

I am proud to be associated with Baleia Extra Virgin Olive Oil and use it whenever a recipe requires Extra Virgin Olive Oil. The South African cold press extra virgin Olive Oil is produced in the Riversdale area, has a whiff of fresh cut grass and aromas of green tomatoes, almonds artichokes and green apples.

Here are a few more of my favourite chicken recipes :

Whole Roast Masala Chicken

Whole Masala Roast Chicken

The Best Peri Peri Chicken Ever

Peri Peri Chicken

Chicken Roasted in White Wine with Lemon and Herbs

Chicken Roasted in White Wine with Lemon and Herbs

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